halo.bungie.org

They're Random, Baby!

Translation of Nordichardware Halo Preview, 2 October 2001

Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 04:33:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: Sippan <zorkar@yahoo.com>
Subject: The entire review translated to english
To: halo@bungie.org
MIME-Version: 1.0

Hm, I didn't have anything to do (came to school to early) so I have
translated the swedish review mentioned today, into english. Here it is:

On July 21, 1999 at MacWorld NY , Bungie's most awaited game so far was
announced. Steve Jobs himself presented, in his key-note, Halo, using
his well-known "Amazing!" And who can't agree?

ONLY ON X-BOX?

Since Bungie have been bought by Microsoft, and there are "Only for
X-box!" signs everywhere, there are probably lots of people out there
who doubt Halo will ever be released for PC/Mac. However Microsoft are
letting Bungie do whatever they want, and even though they put down 100%
on the X-box version, which is the greatest launch title for the X-box,
the Pc/mac version is planned. Halo will be released at the same time as
the X-box, which is the 15th of November in the US. Nobody knows when
the PC/Mac version will be released, but early 2002 can be expected.
Halo has now reached it's third version. The second one was shown on E3
2001, and the third started after the buyout, when they got a bigger
budget and better hardware (X-box).

Bungie, having their 10th anniversary this year, have released a couple
of games before. Marathon (a trilogy), the Macs reply to Doom, was the
first FPS with an actual story (still being analyzed to this day) and
has some connections to Halo. The Marathon logo is, actually, inside the
Halo logo. Myth - The fallen lords and Myth 2 - Soulblighter, the first
strategy games in 3D and without resources, still is the only strategy
game that is only focused on formations and tactics. Oni unfortunately
wasn't as great as expected, but was also created by a new team that
didn't have much to do with Bungie.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HALO AND OTHER GAMES?

Apart from Quake, Tribes and Unreal, Halo is very realistic. There are
no enormous players running around with giant weapons. But it isn't as
hyper-realistic as Half-Life or counter-Strike, it's sort of in between.
Even the alien weapons are like this. Halo also has very realistic
vehicles, that can be compared to car games, and that even beats some of
them.

The AI is very advanced. The characters talk to you and each others,
point at things, cover you and each other, drives vehicles, stays out of
friendly fire, kills aliens, storms the enemy, takes cover, jumps into
vehicles driven by you or others and get very pissed off if you kill too
many of them. The ones that have shields will retreat to recharge it
when needed.



THE STORY OF HALO


Mankind has expanded out into space. Suddenly an outpost is attacked by
aliens with only a religious message as a warning. Billions of people
are killed in the following war. When the aliens get closer to Earth,
the spaceship Pillar of Autumn (a 1 kilometer long Corvette) decides to
lead the alien army away from earth, and start travelling towards a
random spot far away. Incredibly enough, the entire army follows the
ship, as it travels to the Halo. The Halo is a ring-formed construct
about 10 000 kilometers in diameter, with an unknown origin. (The
spieces that built it might show up in the game, but only Bungie knows).
On board of the ship is the AI Cortana (whom there are many soeculations
around on the internet), 1800 humans, out of these 800 are marine
soldiers, and you. You are the last of (according to speculations) 50
cyborg warriors from the military experiment - SPARTAN II protocols. You
are trained to use any weapon or vehicle, human or alien. Before the
ship is destroyed you are activated. Cortana is saved by being
transformed into your suit (this happens on the first level, see films).
Then as many as possible of the spaceship crew evacuate to Halo in
escape pods, where you lead a guerilla war against the aliens hoping to
find the secrets of Halo to win the war.



GRAPHICS AND ENVIRONMENT

Halo and Unreal 2 look very much like each other when it comes to
graphics. From the pictures I've seen I can't say that one looks better
than the other. I do like the style of Halo better that the one of
Unreal, but that's up to the individual to decide. Halo has a very
detailed environment, but unfortunately can't be compared to Metal Gear
Solid 2 when it comes to indoors environment. However Halo has an
enormous outside-environment, and you can run around in complex indoor
structures on the same level withour any loading time. Halo has
reflecting surfaces, and and surfaces that shine more than others when
you shine your flashlight, that some human weapons have built-in, on
them. Outside you will see grass, mountains, and water with the
coolest-looking waves I have ever seen. You will experience both summer
and winter, rain and snow, day and night and also various animals. The
clouds in the sky differ. Sometimes it's clear and sunny, and you can
see the stars, and sometimes there are beautiful clouds in different
colors. There are also many short and sometimes long cutscenes where you
sometimes can and sometimes can't control your character. The first
level, on board the Pillar of Autumn, has been described, by the few who
have played it, as better than Half Life. Other details are lipsync,
every character has his own voice, and 5.1 Dolby Surround support.


SPECIES, WEAPONS AND VEHICLES


The Covenant, which is the name of the aliens, are many different
species united to destroy mankind. The species known so far are: Elite -
has an energy shield and can be invisicle  la Predator, this looks
really awesome. When you kill one, lots and lots of purple blood will
spray out. Grunt - Little, clumsy alien that will escape if he's alone,
attacks in groups and rather with an Elite as company. Jakal - Carries a
shield to protect himself and attacks in two different directions. A
grenade or a well-aimed sniper shot will kill him though. Hunter - Very
little is known about these today. They are large, heavy armored, and
have a large cannon. See the films for pictures of them.




You are limited to carry 2 weapons at a time. You can pick up weapons
from anyone you kill. The known human weapons today are pistol, Assault
Rifle with flashlight, shotgun with flashlight, rocketlauncher with 2
rockets, flamethrower, grenades and Sniper Rifle with zoom and night
vision. Weapons that have been seen, but not yet in the X-box version
are minigun, SAM and speargun (for underwater). The lien weapons seen on
the X-box version are unfortunately only two different energy pistols
that are easily overheated but that don't need a magazine, a needler
shooting nails that explode, and plasma grenades. Alien weapons seen
before are the fuel rod gun that shoots massive green beams,  weapons
that looks like some kind of rocket launcher, a weapon simiolar to the
sniper rifle and the energy sword. You can see some of the weapons being
used in the films.




When you jump into a vehicle the camera will change to 3rd person
perspective. You can drive any vehicle except the dropships. Jeep with
passenger seat that you can shoot from and minigun in the back that
someone can operate, large tank with minigun and cannon, and a dropship
that can carry a jeep and about 10 soldiers. We have seen a smaller tank
earlier, but not yet on the X-box. The lien vehicles are the Ghost that
looks like  a hovercraft motorbike with cannons, the Banshee, a small
hunter plane, and the Scorpion, a hovercraft tank with a beam cannon on
the "roof". They also have stationary energy turrets and dropships.




MULTIPLAYER


Microsoft were a bit late with internet support for the X-box so Halo
will not include it in the X-box version. If a patch isn't released
later on. It is however possible to play network 16 players with a
4-split screen mode. But Halo is supposed to be a huge multiplayer game
for the PC/Mac, and there are already numerous clans. 15 different game
types have been mentioned, but we don't known which. CTF and some form
of Assault will exist. Myth plyers know that Bungie has good ideas when
it comes to multiplayer game types, so there will hardly be any
problems. Halo also supports cooperative play, but this game type may be
limited to 2 players. It works like this: if one plyer dies, he won't be
spawned directly, the other player can continue fighting. If he ends the
combat, the other player will spawn near where he died, and if they both
die they will spawn on the latest checkpoint.

Phew. You're welcome.

/Vid Boi (Sebastian Brytting)


bungie.org